Dancers breaking world records before they've even had their morning coffee? Shouldn't surprise you, considering our next-level enthusiasm for absolutely anything that has to do with dance. And that's exactly the feat 300+ dancers—myself included!—achieved this morning on the streets of NYC.


A few weeks ago, dynamic American Ballet Theatre duo Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside sent out an all-call for ballet dancers to appear with them on the morning talk show "Live with Kelly and Ryan" on September 10. The mission? Break the current Guinness World Record for most dancers en pointe simultaneously: 245.

Dancers appeared on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" on September 10 to break a Guinness World RecordAmanda Sherwin

It was an instant "challenge accepted" from me. When I arrived at the "Live" studios at our call time of 7:30am, there was already a line of excited dancers half a block long (because as any dancer knows, thou shalt always arrive at least 15 minutes before your actual call time). I was assigned to a specific section of the street outside the studios, which had been roped off for the event.

Ready to break the record! Courtesy Amanda Sherwin


Students from the Joffrey Ballet SchoolAmanda Sherwin

Despite the rain and everyone's obvious lack of sleep, the dancers were in high spirits. And we were all pretty much instantly best friends. Something about the shared pain of wearing those boots for two hours in the rain made bonding pretty easy.

Dancers did what they could to keep their shoes dry!Amanda Sherwin

The diversity of the crowd once again reflected that ballet is truly for everyone—I saw boys, girls, beginners and professionals alike, and learned that many had come from around the country to participate in the record-breaking attempt.

The McCarter family, including Rosemary, a former dancer in the Yugoslavia State Ballet, her daughter Elizabeth, a former Joffrey Ballet Company member, and her three granddaughtersAmanda Sherwin


Dancers young and old came to break the world record, including 7-year-old Laura.Amanda Sherwin

And of course, it wouldn't be live TV without star guests! Boylston and Whiteside appeared about an hour into the event, and were soon joined by New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck, Lauren Lovette and Maria Kowroski. Host Ryan Seacrest, who wasn't afraid to admit he knew absolutely nothing about "on pointe," and Kelly Ripa, drawing on her 13 years of ballet training to join in on the attempt, also appeared onstage.

Dancers appeared on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" on September 10 to break a Guinness World RecordAmanda Sherwin

Guinness officials herded us into lines of five in each section, which obviously wasn't hard—we always stan a neat formation. After the officials explained all the rules about the attempt, the clock counted down, and we were off!

In order to officially break the record, we each had to remain en pointe for exactly one minute, and we weren't allowed to lean on each other or hold hands (but thankfully, we were allowed to bourrée, which we took full advantage of). I was having a grand old time using my port de bras, but looking around, most dancers kept their arms down with laser focus, determined to reach the goal. Before we knew it, the minute had passed, and we had done it!

With over 300 dancers participating, we broke the record easily. As soon as we were off the clock, we all high-fived and hugged, to the cheers of the crowd that had gathered to watch. The dancer next to me said, with a look of relief, "I totally cramped up in the middle of that, but nothing was going to make me stop!"

And that, friends, is why dancers absolutely rock.

Ballet Stars
Lauren Lovette. Quinn Wharton.

New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette tries hard to focus on wellness despite her busy schedule. Her Hydro Flask water bottle—a gift from colleague Indiana Woodward—is emblazoned with the words "Be Here Now," a daily reminder to stay present. Lovette also keeps two doTERRA essential oils in her bag, and starts each day with Citrus Bliss. "I put it on my wrist at barre, and smell it," she says. "It just keeps me in a positive mood." Another scent, Balance, is reserved for days when she's feeling particularly frazzled.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

What inspires busy pros to keep returning to their alma mater? We talked to three of The Rock School's buzziest alums about why they make it a priority to come back and teach:

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Careers
Roderick Phifer in Trey McIntyre's The Boogeyman . Bill Hebert, Courtesy BalletX.

This is one of a series of stories on recent graduates' on-campus experiences—and the connections they made that jump-started their dance careers. Roderick Phifer graduated from University of the Arts with a BFA in dance in 2017.

While walking out of a technique class during the first semester of his senior year at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, Roderick Phifer was approached with an unexpected offer. BalletX needed a guest artist for an upcoming performance, and after seeing Phifer perform in one of his senior shows, a UArts alumnus dancing with the company had offered up his name. Phifer ran straight from his technique class to a company class with BalletX, and the troupe's artistic leadership quickly gave him the green light to perform. "It was so last-minute, that, I kid you not, I had three rehearsals," he says. He performed with BalletX as a guest artist that fall, auditioned for an open company position in the spring and had a contract by the end of his senior year.

Keep reading... Show less
Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

Keep reading... Show less